“ Manufacturer: Serif „
Serif DrawPlus 7 is a best software to use as it offers a surprisingly large number of the features from more expensive programs. For the first time, DrawPlus can produce multi-page documents. This means it's ideal for brochures and catalogues, or even for a set of business stationery, though each page in the document has to be the same shape and size. It provides adequate versions of all the standard drawing tools and even a reasonably capable auto-trace function. The Instant 3D feature lets you extrude objects and provides control over rotation, perspective, lighting and bevelling. I loved the program, it was so flexible and fun and easy to use. I had to own it myself.
Such a good software I buy it from the retaildownloadsoftware.com online store. Impressively, DrawPlus provides a complete range of fill types, including mesh, with a vast selection of useful presets. DrawPlus 7 is a great package for home use, business graphics and even dabbling in serious illustration.
Serif DrawPlus 7 - A helpa4eva review.
Hello everyone, here i am reviewing a very versatile piece of software called Drawplus 7. This software is developed by Serif, and obviously is the 7th in the Drawplus series.
I first used the software in a school Information Technology class in which we used Serif Drawplus 5 to make animations for a website. I loved the program, it was so flexible and fun and easy to use. I had to own it myself.
The way i actually came to Own Serif Drawplus 7 (The newest version at the time) was slightly under-hand. Trying to avoid paying for the software, i searched the world wide web for a download of Serif Drawplus 7, but bore no fruits. In fact, all i found was Serif Drawplus 2. Well, better than nothing i thought, and so i downloaded it for free, and registered with Serif - This was the key for any of you readers who want to own this program cheaply.
About a week later Serif phoned me, kindly offering me the latest version of Drawplus for a cheap £20 instead of the RRP of £60.00. Well i was delighted!!! and going back to me not wanting to spend money, i kindly asked my family if they wanted to purchase it for me, and so they did, and promptly, a few days later, a package came through the door......
The Box -
Obviously you can see an image of the packaging above, but i will briefly explain it to you. It is a clear designed box, with "DrawPlus 7" written near the bottom of the box, and the developers name, Serif, in the top left of the box, both of these pieces of text being black in colour on a white background. The top third of the box, however, is a clourful display of screenshots of the program, a quick preview of what can be done on the program, all on a easy-to-the-eye turqoise pattern.
The other side of the box is expectedly information about the software, what it can do, how easy it is to use, etc. With more images of the program, which to me looked a lot more impressive than Serif Drawplus 2.
Inside the box -
Upon opening the box i was greeted with 4 items, as follows:
1. A paper and see through cd wallet containing a cd entitled "Serif Drawplus 7"
2. Another of the same case, containing a cd entitled "Design cd"
Note: Both of these cd's had the same turqoise colour scheme as on the front of the box.
3. A very thick looking paperback manual, also in the turqoise scheme.
4. A letter saying thank you for purchase etc, and asking me to register this version of the software for more special offers from Serif.
The installatin was a very pleasant and simple process, from inserting the cd and watching it slide into the welcoming crevice that is my cd drive, to the boring but not overly slow process of watching the percentiles tick from 1% to 100%, to "The installation is now complete, please reset your computer before you can use the program". So that was the installation finished, and i promptly shut down my computer in my eagerness to test out the software.
The program opened up quickly and efficiently, and i was shown a "welcoming menu" with a picture of the hand holding a writing tool that is on the box, with options before me:
1. Create Drawing
2. Create Animation
Open Saved Work
As Open Saved Work and Exit are self explanatory and generally standard features in a piece of software, i will not bore you by going into them features. Instead, Below are chapters 1 and 2, detailing Drawing and Animation on Drawplus respectivley.
1. Create Drawing
When this is clicked, you are immediatley taken to a page where you can select the size of your "canvass" or "paper" on the screen - whatever you wish to call it, you also have the option of making a custom one to a custom size, and saving that size, or you can choose from a range of publications and fun things (Height charts, leaflets, etc, however, some of these are on the design cd which i will explain the contents of later). When you choose your size you are taken to a very simple looking screen. These are the tools you have at your disposal:
Pencil/Line/Curved - These are the 3 fundamental line types you can choose for your drawing - Pencil being a freeform drawing tool, Line being for straight lines (obviously) for geometrical or maybe architectural designs, and Curved, again, for lines of the curved variety.
Shape button - Clicking this brings up a little sub-meneu with a selection of about 20 shapes, ranging from circle, square, trapezium, to transport, smiley faces, and stars.
Roughen line - When you have selected a shape by left clicking it, you can use this button to make the line or shape more uneven and rough.
Rotate - although you can enter a degree into a little sub box that you want the shape to be rotated by, you can also to it manually by using this box then turning the shape with your mouse.
Then on the right there are some more tabs:
Line - This is further customizing the lines in your drawing, from the colour, to what type of line (arrows at the end? gaps every now and again?) To thickness, to roundness at the end of the lines.
Colour - This is used to colour in shapes, and unlike paints poor colour selection, Drawplus has a good 100 colours at your disposal.
There are a lot more features in the Drawing section that come on the design cd, they will be listed later.
2. Create Animation
The Create Animation is very much the same process and layout as the previous option - you select your paper size, and you have your shape, colour and line tabs etc. Only there are a few new features obviously to be used to make animations:
Frames - The first "page" you are on, has a little tab at the bottom entitled "Frame 1" this is the start of your animation. When you have completed your first frame you can click this and choose from:
New Frame - For a clean sheet in the 2nd part of your animation
Clone Frame - For "Frame 2" to be made, exactly the same as "Frame 1" so if you only need to make a small movement it looks smooth in the finished result
Delete Frame - If you think your work sucked, delete it!
Options - Here you can choose how many 100ths of a second you want the frame to last, and other bits and bobs that i havnt yet mastered!
There is also obviously a "Play" button, which shows you the work that you have done at the speed that you have set.
Also, in both the drawing and animation features, you can copy and paste objects, but the handy thing about Serif copy and paste is that it doesnt paste the object in straight away. Oh no. Its brings up a size selector and you drag your mouse out to make the object the size you want, and of course it can still be adjusted later if you wish.
Furthermore, there is a transparency button, to chose a tint for the transparency and to choose the percentile of transparency in the object selected.
At first the prospect of creating an animation on the computer daunted me, how?
But Serif Drawplus makes it really easy and simple.
If you still have problems with it you can refer to the manual, which takes you fully step by step, hand in hand, through the installation process, to opening the program, and gives you some simple projects to undertake to grasp the program, before moving onto more advanced features such as inserting sound objects and files into the animation.
Design CD -
The Design CD contains some extra content that you should really install to fully enjoy and appreciate the program:
1. Textures - Although you can use colours to fill your shapes in, you now get about 50 "textures" to fill in your objects with, from metals, glows, woods, to plasma colours that you would expect to see in a 70's nightclub.
2. Publications - For drawing, the cd comes with a lot more pre-set publications, like calendars, invitations, cards and the like.
The only "problem" i have ever encountered with Drawplus was when i selected an object and tried to paste something different, it caused a crash and the program shut down, however it automatically saved my work for me so that was fine, you just have to be careful. Apart from that one needle in the haystack, the program is entirley flawless to me, infact its the entire opposite, its well structured and well made. Genius. :-)
Although the only "Update" i have installed was from the Design CD that came with Drawplus, i have not checked the internet for updates, although i have little doubt that Serifs website will contain some plugins and addons and whatnot.
I have used the software countless times, from making a leaflet about the Roman Army, to creating a Dawn of the Dead style animation with a good 900 frames in all!! It has countless uses, and its just really fun to play around with even if you have nothing to do and you just want to have a tinker with it!
Serif Drawplus is a great program, very easy to use and great value for money. If you register with serif you will continue to get good offers aswell, i got photoplus recently, a photo storing and editing software, for about £2-3 with FREE postage!
I highly recommend the whole program to you, its just great, although if you had to buy it at the RRP, £60, it would be a little overpriced. It is priced as such because you do not need the cd to run the software, and so business can install it on all their computers and stuff like that.
Thank you for reading this somewhat behemoth of a review,
I hope quality is as good as quantity!